British Fencing is pleased to announce that it has received confirmation from UK Sport that we have been successful with our Equality Submission and have achieved the Foundation Level of the Equality Standard for Sport.
Libby Payne, who was responsible for bringing together much of the submission totalling in excess of 180 pages, said on Monday, "I'm really delighted that we have achieved the Foundation Level. I started this project when I was still an elected Director and Board Equality Champion and I'm really pleased that I have been able to complete the project successfully. Everyone has really pulled together and we have been able to accomplish an awful lot in the last six months. Obviously this is just the start and I really hope that the new Equality Group and ambassador positions that we are currently recruiting for will be able to build on what is currently in place and drive us forward to becoming a truly open and equitable sport and a leading governing body in this area."
For more information on the Equality Standard for Sport please visit http://www.equalitystandard.org/
On 14 March 2011 the Government, together with the Football Association, Lawn Tennis Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, Rugby Football League, and the Rugby Football Union, launched Tackling homophobia and transphobia in Sport: The Charter for Action.
This was reviewed by the British Fencing Equality Group, and approved by the British Fencing Board on 4th October 2011. Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said:
“British Fencing has joined over 30 different sports and over 2000 other organisations and individuals who have signed the Charter so far and I thank them for their pledge. Everyone who loves sport should sign the charter and help kick homophobia and transphobia out of sport for good.”
Too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people feel that sport does not let them be themselves, and they feel they cannot access sport in a way they would like. We have seen real progress over the last 20 years when it comes to tackling racism in sport but progress towards equality in other areas lag behind. The Board and management of British Fencing believes that we should all – fencers, coaches, clubs and administrators - work to remove all forms of discrimination from fencing, including homophobia and transphobia.
The Charter for Action states:
1) We believe that everyone should be able to participate in and enjoy sport – whoever they are and whatever their background.
2) We believe that sport is about fairness and equality, respect and dignity. Sport teaches individuals how to strive and succeed, how to cope with success and disappointment, and brings people together with a common goal.
3) We are committed to making these values a reality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We will work together, and individually, to rid sport of homophobia and transphobia.
4) We will make sport a welcome place for everyone – for those participating in sport, those attending sporting events and for those working or volunteering in sports at any level. We will work with all these groups to ensure they have a voice, and to challenge unacceptable behaviour.
We will continue to work over the coming months with Sport England and other national governing bodies to help embed the principles that are in the Charter. We hope – and are confident - that the fencing community will become part of this drive for change.
For more detail, please contact Liz Behnke, British Fencing Equality and Safeguarding Manager
For urgent issues please call 07526 003030